Pope Francis' surprise admission in an interview last year that the Catholic Church's rule that mandates celibacy
"can change" is drawing applause from supporters on Twitter who are cheering him as the "best Pope ever."
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elected pontiff last week, made comments in 2012 about once being tempted by a woman as a young seminarian. His comments were published in the Spanish-language book "On the Heavens and the Earth."
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"I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle's wedding. I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance... and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while," Bergoglio said in Spanish,
as translated by the Catholic news website Aleteia. "I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing.
"If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy
, I think it would do so for cultural reasons (as in the East), not so much as a universal option. It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change."
Though Pope Francis wasn't advocating for a rule change, just simply discussing its place in today's culture, his comments show he may be open to it in the future, Vatican analysts say.
Twitter users spoke out in favor of the Pope's past comments on celibacy.
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